Playlist: Heatpocalypse 2012

If you live in the Midwestern, Eastern and Southern United States, you are likely either in the midst of, or just finished up one of the worst heatwaves in recent history. My current residence, Baltimore, just broke a temperature record that’s been on the books since the 1880s. When my family and I went to the Tigers vs. Orioles game earlier this month, even my parents, two of the most obsessive baseball fans in the universe, couldn’t stay outside for the whole game. I was the only one in our party who did, and I sustained a nasty sunburn for it.

Normally when the mercury is climbing in Baltimore, I make some quip about how as a native Michigander I’m used to “hot” meaning in the 80s (Fahrenheit) and can’t handle the summers here. But I checked the weather in Detroit on those super-hot days, and it was just as bad! So, in honor of the ridiculously high temperatures, I decided to make a heat-themed playlist. If you’re burning up under the relentless sun, hopefully these sweet tracks will cool you down.



(Love Is Like a) Heatwave – Martha and the Vandellas
Blister in the Sun – Violent Femmes
Fire – The Jimi Hendrix Experience
This Fire – Franz Ferdinand
A Question of Temperature – Balloon Farm
White Light/White Heat – The Velvet Underground
London’s Burning – The Clash
Serpentine Fire – Earth, Wind & Fire
Bushfire – The B-52’s
Summer in the City – The Lovin’ Spoonful
Long Hot Summer Night – The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Hot Fun in the Summertime – Sly and the Family Stone
Burning Down the House – Talking Heads

Heatpocalypse 2012 from Autostraddle on 8tracks.

Add your favorite sweltering world tracks in the comments below!

Want to suggest a playlist theme? Hit Crystal up on Formspring and someone from the team will make it for you.

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Rose is a 25-year-old Detroit native currently living in Austin, TX, where she is working on her Ph.D. in musicology. Besides Autostraddle, she works as a streaming reviewer for Anime News Network.

Rose has written 69 articles for us.


  1. Baltimoreans unite! It’s supposed to get up to 104 today. Excuse me while I go weep in my barely-air-conditioned office.

    • 104 plus our lovely Maryland humidity sounds like a wonderful way for the world to remind me that the A/c in my car doesn’t work.

  2. Alaska has been cool and rainy all summer staying in the mid to upper 50’s. I’d love to trade some of that weather with anyone who’s interested.

    Great playlist! I love me some Franz Ferdinand.

  3. Awesome playlist! I really appreciate The Lovin Spoonful on here.
    It gets up to 113 during a normal summer where I live. Thank god it’s not humid anyway.

  4. On the opposite end of the temperature scale, I’d recommend Rasputina’s “1816, The Year Without A Summer” as a sure-fire cure to wishing for a real-world reenactment of The Day After Tomorrow.

  5. Fire With Fire- Scissor Sisters

    Cat People (Putting Out Fire)- David Bowie

    Into the Sun- Sean Lennon

    Horse With No Name- America

    Summer in the City- Regina Spektor

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